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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 18 September 2009
Well done, coach: Andrew with his soccer squad members
Well done, coach: Andrew with his soccer squad members
From Brazil to Brunel

THE dank stairwells of Westbourne Green's Brunel estate are a world away from sun scorched Copacabana beach.
But one man unfazed by the landscape disparity is Andrew Amers-Morrison, who has managed to do his own bit of unlikely place marketing by bringing Brazil to Brunel in a new samba soccer club on the estate.
Mr Amers-Morrison, a former semi-professional, who had to give up the game through injury, was honoured with a prestigious award for the project he set up in 2005.
The club teaches youngsters on the estate skills and tricks à la Ronaldinho, and has been credited with reducing anti-social behaviour.
This week, the 39-year-old was presented with the community award at the GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards at the Grosvenor HouseHotel in front of thousands of guests including former premier Tony Blair.
Mr Amers-Morrison said: “I'm so proud that we have won this award.
“It started with just a handful of kids but within weeks we had almost a hundred .
“There were lots of gangs on the estate and the police were turning up five and six times a day. From the minute the Samba club started things changed.
“Now weeks go by without the police coming.”

Hang it, there’s still time to apply for the exhibition

FED up with underwhelming big ticket art exhibitions?
There won’t be any talking holograms or inflatable animal lilos in crude poses on display at the annual Westminster Arts Open exhibition next month.
The best work by artists living, working or studying in the borough will go on display at the SW1 gallery in Victoria, with an opportunity for collectors to snap up a bargain before the big galleries snaffle them up. This year, one piece will be purchased for the Westminster Arts Collection, where charities, care homes and community venues can loan a number of works for two years.
And there’s still a chance to get your paintings on the walls. Artists wishing to submit work can download a form from www.westminsterarts.org.uk and apply before Monday
October 5.?

Opportunity to get face to face with Great Mace

IN our last issue, West End Extra revealed that the Great Mace used in the House of Commons under Charles I would go on display to the public.
Now Diary can give you a sneak peek of the frightening looking ornament. The high security vault, a sort of council panic room, which houses a rare collection of ceremonial items, will be opened up to visitors for the first time on Saturday.
The mace was reputedly hidden inside Westminster Abbey to prevent Oliver Cromwell destroying it when he assumed power in 1649 following the execution of the king.
The collection has been built up over generations and and features gifts presented to the council by outgoing lord mayors and visiting heads of state. Among other buildings in the borough accessible as part of Open House weekend include the new eco-friendly Little Venice sports centre and Westminster Abbey.

Contradictions and raised eyebrows

IF anywhere can lay claim to being the crucible of the sexual revolution, Soho is in with a good shout.
So you would expect perhaps fewer sharp inhalations of breath at the sight of public displays of affection in W1 then say Tunbridge Wells.
Well, it seems tolerance stretches only so far. The West End Extra understands recent advertising hoardings put up to protect the cottage in Soho Square have raised more than a few eyebrows from the Liberati. One of the advertising images for the gay website gaydar.co.uk appears to show (left) a man having his flies unzipped with little else left to the imagination.
The hoardings were put up as part of a mini-festival in the square over the weekend, and with a children’s slide in the square on the day, some people are claiming it was inappropriate.
Soho certainly lends itself to such contradictions – the school gates of Soho parish school are almost kissing the entrance of a strip joint.

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